Friday, May 6, 2011

A Snapshot Preview of Fiji by Voice of Melanesia.

Smol Melanesian Nius Digest # 396a

15)Fiji top military in court for breaching crime decree

Reports from Fiji says the former Land Force Commander, Brigadier General Pita Driti, and a former Commander, Colonel Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, have appeared in court for breaching the Crimes Decree.

FBC News says Roko Ului is charged with one count of uttering seditious comments under the Crimes Decree.

He has been released on bail with no surety and was represented by Suva lawyer Devanesh Sharma.

He will appear again on May the 30th.

Brigadier General Driti is still reported to be in court.

Since October, the two have been leave.

Two months ago, the Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga denied that there were any splits among senior military officers.4/5/11 Radio New Zealand International

16)Fiji’s ECREA continues to push for end of emergency rules

Fiji’s Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy says it will continue its efforts to have the Public Emergency Regulations lifted.

ECREA’s comment comes as the world marks Press Freedom Day.

It says the regulations, which impose censorship on journalists and media agencies, hinder media freedom.

ECREA’s director, Joseph Camillo, says the interim government imposed the PER in 2009 and promised it would be lifted once the media decree was issued nearly a year ago.

“We’re still pushing for the PER to be removed. I know there’s issues of waiting for development work on the constitution, the electoral reforms and national dialogue. For us, ECREA, we need more relevant stories, balanced views coming across to the communities.”

Joseph Camillo says a free press is vital in bringing a more cohesive, dynamic and vibrant nation.3/5/11 Radio New Zealand International

17)Fiji National Provident Fund to finalise new pension structure

By Online Editor-4:19 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2011, Fiji


The Fiji National Provident Fund is set to finalise the new pension structure as well as announce reforms to Fiji’s retirement savings arrangements and the operations of FNPF.

FNPF chief executive officer Aisake Taito in a statement said there have been some amendments over the years but a comprehensive review of the Scheme has been long overdue.

“Fiji needs a retirement savings scheme that is sustainable, transparent in its operations and fair to all members – future, current and those nearing retirement,” he said.

FNPF commenced reforms in 2010 to ensure sustainable returns and the delivery of excellent services to its members.

According to Taito, the need for reforms to benefit design, scheme structure and its administration is a long-standing issue and has been identified by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund through their joint Financial Sector Assessment Program, the International Labour Organisation as well as Reserve Bank of Fiji and other consulting actuaries.

Also a symposium to introduce and explain changes to the pension scheme and design and reform for the future operation of Fiji’s retirement savings policy and industry will be conducted on 11-12 May at Holiday Inn in Suva.

Taito said the symposium has been organised to provide a forum for stakeholder groups to hear from experts and understand the issues and proposed policy solutions.

The Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Commodore Frank Bainimarama will provide the Keynote address to launch these important reforms.

Speakers will include consultants from Mercer and Promontory, who have assisted in redesigning the pension benefits, policy and legal drafting.

Key stakeholders including government, unions, employers, pensioners, regulators, academics, financial commentators and non-governmental organisations have also been invited to participate.

The Fund will also embark on public consultation on these issues Fiji-wide.

FNPF was established in 1966 to accept contributions from employers and employees that would then be paid to the worker at retirement.SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

18)Newcrest to begin exploration at Fiji’s Mt Kasi

By Online Editor-=4:23 pm GMT+12, 03/05/2011, Fiji

Australia’s largest gold producer and one of the world’s top 10 gold mining companies, Newcrest Mining Limited is to begin exploration work at Mt Kasi in two weeks.

This was confirmed to FijiLive by Land’s Permanent Secretary Filimoni Kau.

Kau said the Fiji government has given a license to Newcrest to begin exploration.

“They will begin work this week or next week,” he said.

Kau added that if there are enough resources then Newcrest will continue and this means a huge investment for Fiji.

Newcrest is currently exploring for gold and gold-copper deposits in Australia, Indonesia, the United States, Canada and Peru.

The company has a world class exploration team that has an enviable track record of discovery as all Newcrest’s mining projects were discovered by the company.
SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

19)Fiji gets new chief magistrate

The Fiji president, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, has sworn in a new chief magistrate.

Usaia Ratuvili, who is the former resident Magistrate, is replacing Pamila Ratnayake who resigned last month due to personal reasons.

Fiji media say he had worked for the Fiji Human Rights Commission from 2001 to 2007.3/5/11 Radio New Zealand International

20)STRESS MANAGEMENT CLINIC OPENS IN FIJI
Provides service to emotionally stressed victims

By Tevita Vuibau
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, May 3, 2011) - A new Primary Care Stress Management Clinic in Samabula, Fiji, is expected to provide a service to those suffering from emotional stress.

In opening the clinic today, Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma said stress was a part of daily life.

"The huge problems of non-communicable diseases that confront us in the form of obesity, hypertension excess smoking, heavy drinking of alcohol and diabetes have a close relationship to psychological stress and may present in primary care clinics rather than in mental hospitals," said Dr Sharma.

The centre will be training ground for students from the Fiji National University’s and Fiji School of Medicine (FSM).

"The FSM and the Samabula Health Centre had decided two months ago to open a clinic in Samabula to provide a service to those suffering from emotional stress. This clinic has also started teaching on the psychosocial and family problems that contribute to stress in people in Fiji."

He added the clinic would help students to understand the human problems faced by the public.

"The clinic has also added a new dimension to teaching of medical students in their understanding of human problems. Soon post basic nursing students of psychiatry will be helping in this clinic and learning too."Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

21)GOLD MINING COMPANY TO START EXPLORATION IN FIJI
Australia’s Newcrest Mining to begin in two weeks

By Farzana Nisha
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, May 3, 2011) – Australia's largest gold producer and one of the world’s top 10 gold mining companies,
Newcrest Mining Limited is to begin exploration work at Mt Kasi in Fiji, in two weeks.

This was confirmed to FijiLive by Land’s Permanent Secretary, Filimoni Kau.

Kau said the Fiji government has given a license to Newcrest to begin exploration.

"They will begin work this week or next," he said.

Kau added that if there are enough resources then Newcrest will continue and this means a huge investment for Fiji.

Newcrest is currently exploring for gold and gold-copper deposits in Australia, Indonesia, the United States, Canada and Peru.

The company has a world class exploration team that has an enviable track record of discovery as all Newcrest’s mining projects were discovered by the company.Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

22)Fiji admitted to Non-Aligned Movement

Fiji will be admitted as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) at the end of the month.

The NAM is a group of states that consider themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power block.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola says joining NAM would help refocus Fiji's relationships away from its traditional trading partners Australia and New Zealand.

Ratu Inoke says more talks are expected to take place between Fiji and member countries of the NAM.

Ratu Inoke says the opening of Fiji's Indonesian embassy last month would also allow Suva to pursue its 'Look North' policy through direct engagement with the ASEAN countries.4/5/11 radioaustralia

23)Driti charged with inciting Fiji mutiny

Posted at 05:31 on 04 May, 2011 UTC

A former Fiji Land Force Commander, Brigadier General Pita Driti, has appeared in court charged with inciting mutiny.

Fiji media say no details of the alleged plot have been released.

Brigadier General Driti, who has been on leave since last year, has also been charged with making a seditious comment.

The same charge has been levelled at another former top officer, Colonel Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, who also appeared in court in Suva.

The two have pleaded not guilty.

They have ordered to surrender their passports and to reappear in court at the beginning of June.

Both were close associates of the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, when he seized power in a coup in 2006.

When they took leave seven months ago, the Fiji regime denied there were any splits within the top hierarchy, and that assessment was last given two months ago by the Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga.

Commodore Bainimarama is currently in Vietnam.Radio New Zealand International

24)Fiji’s Land Ministry says interest shown in Land Bank

Fiji’s Land Ministry is working on giving out more than 10,000 hectares of land to those interested in undertaking development work through the Land Bank.

The Lands Permanent Secretary Filimoni Kau tells FijiLive a lot of local and overseas investors have shown interest in the scheme.

He says hopefully by year end they will be able to designate the whole 10,000 hectares that have been committed by the land-owners.

A team is currently visiting Seaqaqa to identify parcels of land as some landowners have shown interest in being a part of this Land Bank.

Mr Kau added that government is hopeful investors will take up the opportunity and use the available lands people’s benefit 4/5/11 radionew zealand

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